Gwakkamole is a game designed to train inhibitory control, a subskill of executive functions. Inhibitory control involves being able to control one’s attention, behavior, thoughts, and/or emotions to override a strong internal predisposition or external lure, and instead do what’s more appropriate or needed (Diamond, 2013).
Players need to smash avocados that have no hat or that tip their hat but avoid smashing avocados with spiky hats or with electric hats.
How does this support learning?
Executive functions refer to a set of top-down, goal-oriented cognitive processes that enable people to control, monitor and plan behaviors and emotions. Miyake and Friedman’s model supports a unity-and-diversity view of EF in that it incorporates the three distinct but related components of EF: inhibitory control, task-switching and updating (Miyake et al., 2000).
These games were created by New York University’s CREATE lab in collaboration with the University of California, Santa Barbara, The Graduate Center, CUNY, supported in part by a research grant from the Institute of Education Science (IES).